The best donation of them all
State law is just one factor in increasing the rate of organ donation. But it's an important tool to raise awareness and ease the actual process, so lawmakers should ensure that the law is as effective as possible.
To that end, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, a Montgomery County Republican and longtime champion of organ donation, has introduced a bill to mandate organ donation training in state medical and nursing schools and to educate high school and college students about donation.
The bill recently passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee. But it faces opposition from the law enforcement community, which fears that the bill could impede official investigations into causes of death.
That's not a frivolous concern. The condition of a body often is fundamental evidence in criminal cases, so police and the public have a legitimate interest in keeping the evidence available.
The two concerns need not be mutually exclusive because organ donation and effective law enforcement both serve the public interest. As written, the bill retains a coroner's power to prevent the removal of an organ if it is needed as evidence. The parties should work out the differences to help increase the pool of available organs, so that no one on a waiting list will die there.